Stephen Williams and Radio Luxembourg
Roger Bickerton

Stephen Williams died in November 1994 in his 87th year.

He will probably be best known for his key role in the establishment and early development of Radio Luxembourg. This work was commemmorated on 7 May 1992 by the award of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Stephen being one of a very few non-Luxembourgers to have received the honour; the country's highest decoration. He was also invited to sign off Radio Luxembourg in the early hours of Sunday 29 Dec 1991 which he did with the words "Good luck, good listening, and goodbye".

What may not be so well-known is the scope of his work. He was Broadcasting Officer for the Department of National Service Entertainments and for ENSA during the war. He was a producer of a wide variety of programmes with the BBC's Outside Broadcast section during the 1950s and 1960s. This was followed by the establishment of BBC Radio Enterprises, Stephen working with Rooney Pelletier until retiring in 1975 at the age of 67.

I am very grateful to Mrs. Doreen Williams for material supplied, and for the opportunity to have been able to visit Stephen late in 1994 on two separate occasions, with my tape recorder, to talk to him at length and to preserve many of his reminiscences.

As for the formatting of the pages: my words are in ordinary text; Stephen's words are shown in italics.


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1:Early life and a first radio set
2:The yacht 'Ceto', Lord Northcliffe and the Daily Mail
3:An early transmitter in Luxembourg
4:Radio Normandy and a Persian Princess
5:Plans for the Luxembourg transmitter
6:Delegated to the new Radio Luxembourg
7:Williams takes charge
8:Recording audio on film, and the Philips recording system
9:Signing up Christopher Stone
10:Football Pools advertizing, 1930s
11:Advertizing anecdotes and pre-war strategy
12:Radio politics, and WW2 begins
13:Stephen Williams joins ENSA as Broadcasting Officer
14:Messages from soldiers: Two-Way Family Favourites
15:More wartime work for ENSA and the BBC
16:War ends; Williams returns to Radio Luxembourg
17:Back to the BBC
18:The hazards of 'Have A Go!'
19:Twilight years at the BBC
20:Awards and retirement


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